A top military official for the North Korean government has vowed to nuke the White House and the Pentagon for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula.
“If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival… our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon – the sources of all evil,” said Hwang Pyong-So, the director of the military’s General Political Bureau, during a military event on the anniversary of the Korean War armistice.
In February, 2013 it was reported North Korea had conducted an underground nuclear test, its third in seven years. It was not determined if the blast was nuclear or a conventional explosion designed to mimic a nuclear test. Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean investigators had failed to detect any radiation.
“The test was to defend our country’s safety and sovereignty against the US’s aggressive behavior that infringed upon our republic’s lawful right to peacefully launch a satellite,” state-run media in North Korea reported.
A satellite launch on the anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il, the previous North Korea dictator, in December, 2012 was a failure.
Despite a lack of conclusive evidence, South Korea’s defense ministry said the supposed nuclear test was in the 6-7 kilotons range while Korea Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources estimated the yield as 7.7–7.8 kilotons.
In response to the alleged test Japan and South Korea raised their military readiness level.
Despite the lack of information on North Korea’s nuclear program and the failure of its aerospace technology, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency concluded last April it has “moderate confidence” North Korea has a nuclear weapon small enough to fit on a missile.
In May it was reported North Korea had conducted engine tests for an intercontinental ballistic missile with the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States, according to 38 North, a think tank affiliated with Johns Hopkins University’s U.S.-Korea Institute.
In March 2003, the Korea Times reported that the U.S. National Assembly included a startling admission in its final report regarding Pyongyang’s missile capabilities – it had supposedly found a North Korean test warhead in Alaska.
“According to a U.S. document, the last piece of a missile warhead fired by North Korea was found in Alaska,’’ former Japanese foreign minister Taro Nakayama was quoted as saying in the report. “Washington, as well as Tokyo, has so far underrated Pyongyang’s missile capabilities.”